Abe Geary passed up a funding offer from “Shark Tank” that would have turned over a 60 percent equity stake in the company, to direct its development personally.
A company looking to shake up the moving industry took home $55,000 and the top spot at Santa Barbara’s third Startup Weekend, one of 200 such gatherings taking place across the globe Nov. 15-17.
The event challenges budding entrepreneurs and programers to launch a startup with just 54 hours separating the concept and final product. The events have been held in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo. The execution, design and business model of the pitches were judged by Kevin O’Connor, co-founder and CEO of Summerland-based FindTheBest; Klaus Schauser, co-founder and chief strategist of AppFolio in Goleta; and Jon Funk of Ocean Road Partners, among others.
A website called NextMover took home first place for its interface that aims to provide users a cheaper alternative to moving companies. Marketing itself as “your friend with a truck,” the site connects movers with others who can get the job done and are looking to make a quick buck.
A Santa Barbara startup hopes to bring the rumored superfood qualities of the African baobab fruit to the U.S. market. The company said the product provides a highly-concentrated source of nutrition and has a sweet-yet-tart flavor that blends grapefruit, pear and vanilla, and an oil.
The Golden State is No. 2 in the nation for pumpkins and last year produced about 93,500 tons of the crop on roughly 505,000 acres. Much of the crop is earmarked for commercial purposes and shipped out of state, but the growth of community-based pumpkin patches has accelerated over the past decade, according to California Farm Bureau Federation spokesperson Dave Kranz.